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Best Times for Smoky Mountain Sunsets

One of the unique things that sets Dollywood apart from other theme parks is its location. The park is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains—the most-visited national park in the country! These mountains, I would argue, can provide some of the best sunsets and views anywhere.

As a Dollywood roller coaster junkie, I’ve ridden all of the roller coasters more than I can recall. (If you’re a roller coaster junkie as well, you can see Dollywood’s off-season roller coaster maintenance here.). Over the years, I’ve kept count of the perfect times throughout each season to ride roller coasters for the best views. I believe Dollywood’s roller coasters and rides offer some of the best views in the areas to admire the sunset and Great Smoky Mountains!

Insider Tip

If you want a big roller coaster thrill, I love riding Wild Eagle in the very front after the sun has set and it’s pitch dark. You aren’t able to see anything in front of you and it makes the experience completely different than during the day.

Based on my record keeping, below are the best windows each month to ride the roller coasters to experience the greatest Smoky Mountain sunsets. All times listed are Eastern Time. If you aren’t a coaster person, you’re still going to enjoy the sunset from anywhere in the park. One of my favorite spots is Wildwood Grove!

March: 7 – 7:30 p.m.

April: 7:30 – 8 p.m.

May: 8 – 8:30 p.m.

June: 8:15 – 8:45 p.m.

July: 8:15 – 8: 45 p.m.

August: 8 – 8:30 p.m.

September: 7:15 – 7:45 p.m.

October: 6:30 – 7 p.m.

November: 5 – 5:30 p.m.

December: 5 – 5:30 p.m.

This year, Daylights Savings Time ends on Nov. 1, 2020, so that is why November and December times are earlier than others. Dollywood usually opens each year after Daylight Savings Time begins in early March so you only have to account for the time change in the fall each year.

Insider Tip

As each month nears the summer solstice, the sunset gets later and so the sunset may take place in the latter range of the window. Likewise, for the winter solstice, the peak times will likely fall in the earlier range of the window.

Riding the roller coasters and rides during these peak times will be sure to provide some breath-taking views—right before the roller coaster takes your breath away. I hope to see you on the roller coasters this year during these peak times to admire the stunning views and sunsets of the Great Smoky Mountains!

Insider Tip

In my opinion, Wild Eagle, Drop Line and Lightning Rod offer the best views of the Great Smoky Mountain sunsets as they peak higher in the park than other rides.
By | 2020-07-16T16:27:44+00:00 July 14th, 2020|Attractions, Thrill Rides|0 Comments

About the Author:

A Tennessee native, Andrew Courtner (Dollywood Insider 2019-Now) has lived in all three parts of Tennessee twice during his life. He was born in Knoxville and grew up coming to Dollywood as a child with his family. He now resides in Cookeville, Tennessee, with his wife and son. Andrew has his dream job of being a college professor teaching educational research and quantitative statistics. Andrew frequently visits Dollywood throughout the year making new Dollywood memories with his family while reminiscing about the memories he made as a kid. Andrew is excited to share his experiences and tips (especially about roller coasters and thrill rides) at Dollywood, Dollywood's Splash Country and Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa.
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